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Going into the season, we have to think that Kenyan Drake is the 1a at the very least. Kalen Ballage was very talented at the college level, but never had the volume or production to go alongside it; he was a distant 3rd to the timeshare between Frank Gore and Drake last year. The two reasons Drake didn’t get his fair share of touches last year are gone – Gore is in Buffalo, and Adam Gase is in New York. He deserved more touches, and the fact that he averaged 0.58 more fantasy points per touch than Frank Gore left us wanting more from him. With a couple of obstacles gone, this is the year where he can live up to his potential with a high percentage of backfield touches.

HC Brian Flores is open to having a workhorse RB, so Ballage will get the touches if he deserves it. Let’s hope the Patriots way of running a lot of plays rubs off; Miami was dead last in 2018. Let’s keep the headache backfields in New England, though.

Drake’s bread and butter is in the passing game. He caught 53 passes last year and actually went over 1000 yards from scrimmage. He generated the highest passer rating when targeted out of any RB with 50+ targets. He was right under Christian McCaffrey in yards per route run. OC Chad O’Shea didn’t admit to much about his offense, but the one thing he did admit to, is the fact that RBs will be very involved in the pass game.

We have a pretty decent sample size of him playing well in the run game too; once he took over workhorse duties at the end of 2017, he led the NFL in rushing in that last month, and averaged 118.8 total yards per game in that five game span. With Drake averaging 4.27 yards after contact per attempt that year, which was by far the best in the NFL that year, we were anticipating Gase to up the usage a bit. We can only hope for that in 2019, since he was the PPR RB8 in that 5-game span.

The versatility and capability of a heavy workload is what makes Drake very intriguing, and I’ve always believed his upside was a RB1 because of his unique skillset. If you find yourself in the 6th round without much upside at RB, he might be someone to consider to give yourself a shot at a RB1.

Drake for upside in the 6th? Yay or nay? 👇